This entry first appeared on Rogers Corporation’s internal “Leadership Blog.” Our CEO, Bruce Hoechner, and his senior leadership team write weekly posts for Rogers’ intranet, generating many likes and comments from colleagues around the globe.

 This blog was written by Jay Knoll, Rogers’ Senior Vice President and General Counsel, and has been edited for external publication.

Jay Knoll The Perfect Cup of Coffee

Work-life Balance

Work-life balance is a popular subject. Companies can tend to focus more on the work side of the scale, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in balance for their employees. Like Rogers, many companies are placing more emphasis on a culture that encourages the appropriate work-life balance.

At the Leadership level…

At the Leadership level, we consistently discuss the workload of our teams and the organization as a whole. We understand that we establish the corporate agenda, which often leads to changes in workloads and priorities. We also understand that we set an example through our actions.

As a manager…

As a manager, I work with an outstanding group of professionals, each of whom also has outside interests, like family, dance, competitive sports, bird watching, miniature golf and gardening. In my one-on-ones and staff meetings, we discuss workload and how it is shared across the team. As managers, we also need to be sensitive to cultural differences and legal requirements (e.g., France’s 35-hour work week, restrictions on off-hour communications with non-exempt employees in the US).

As a parent…

As a parent, I’ve been coaching my adult children, who are in the earliest stages of their careers. I have a daughter who is working the early shift as a pastry baker that starts at 5:00 a.m., and another daughter working for a consulting firm where she is working 14+ hour days and traveling at least four days every week. We discuss the personal sacrifices they’re making now and what expectations they have for the future. Both daughters are learning a lot in their chosen fields and are generally happy with their choices, though a bit tired.

Personally…

Personally, I’m probably like you, with jobs that sometimes demanded a disproportionate amount of my time and energy. For example, my wife recently reminded me of the wedding of a good friend’s son ten years ago that I missed because of a work emergency. (It’s a long story.) My chosen career does not have a steady and consistent workload and instead has ebbs and flows, for example when there is a special project like an M&A transaction. But even at my busiest, I have often found a strong sense of personal and professional satisfaction with my work.

Here’s how Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s CEO) frames this issue in an interview with Business Insider US:

This work-life harmony thing is what I try to teach young employees and actually senior executives at Amazon too. But especially the people coming in. I get asked about work-life balance all the time. And my view is, that’s a debilitating phrase because it implies there’s a strict trade-off…If I am happy at home, I come into the office with tremendous energy, and if I am happy at work, I come home with tremendous energy.

Now that you’ve come to the end of my blog, you might be expecting me to provide THE answer to the work-life balance question. Sorry, but here’s the best I’ve got:  Finding your work-life balance is like finding your perfect cup of coffee. You’ll search forever, but it’s just too elusive. You’ll often find great cups, sometimes bad, and some days you’ll need the jolt of a double espresso, while at other times you’ll want to indulge in a caramel macchiato with whipped cream.

 

holiday travel safetyAs the year comes to an end, holiday travel begins to increase. Whether going home to see family or taking a year-end vacation, crowds in airports and on roads significantly surge in November and December. In addition to the feeling of holiday hustle and bustle, this extra traffic presents many opportunities to practice travel safety.

Safety is the top priority at Rogers. This means safety everywhere: on the production floor, in the office and especially while traveling.  At Rogers Corporation, being a global company means many of our employees travel for work. Here are some good travel and safety tips our employees have picked up over the years.

  1. Allow yourself plenty of time.

“Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush, stumble and fall.” – William Shakespeare

Take your time. Allow plenty of time to get through security at the airport, to drive through traffic on the freeway and to enjoy the people and sites you are visiting.

  1. Be prepared for unfamiliar territory.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

When traveling somewhere unfamiliar, it is exciting to see new sites and have new experiences. However, take some time to acquaint yourself with these new surroundings. Review the hotel’s evacuation route, examine a city map before visiting and plan to arrive in the city during daylight for easier navigation.

  1. Have backup identification on hand. Just in case.

“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.” – Francis Bacon

The sentiment of this quote is true; grace and courtesy go a long way no matter where you are visiting. Still, it is always a good idea to have a backup ID. Whether it is to get through airport security, purchase goods or check-in to a hotel, the need to provide identification seems to be more common while traveling. In the off chance that your primary form of identification is lost, having a secondary ID saved in a different location (say, your luggage instead of your wallet) can help avoid several headaches.

  1. Make sure your vehicle is ready.

“I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” – Walt Whitman

If you are driving your personal vehicle, give it a good check-up before embarking on a road trip. Proper fluid levels and a well-charged battery allow for peace of mind as you navigate busy schedules and even busier roads. Whether renting a car or driving your own, be sure to check the weather and be ready for upcoming road conditions. Cold forecasts can require considerable planning. Some good items to equip your vehicle with include an ice scraper, blanket, water, rock salt and even a shovel.

  1. Enjoy yourself.

“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” – Mark Twain

While this may not be a practical tip to help you prepare for your upcoming holiday or vacation, it is an important one to remember. Enjoy yourself and find the humor in situations that may be less than ideal. Stuck in traffic driving up the road for a holiday dinner? Have a family karaoke session. Flight delayed while flying across the country for a much-needed getaway? Catch up on your reading list. By finding joy, regardless of the situation, you can help alleviate the stresses of travel and enjoy the memories being made.

From all of us at Rogers Corporation, with a bit of preparedness and positivity, we hope you enjoy a happy and safe holiday season.

Selected quotes from our recent earnings call. Read the corporate financials news release: Rogers Corporation Reports Third Quarter 2018 Results.

In Q3 2018, Rogers achieved record revenues of $227 million, compared to $201.4 million in Q3 2017. Sales were at the midpoint of our previously released guidance.

Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Growth Drivers

Advanced Mobility

In advanced mobility, we are seeing a significant increase in demand for EV/HEV applications as automakers continue their race to introduce more EV and HEV models, which gives us great optimism around demand. In ADAS, we expect to see continued penetration of our materials as automotive safety features become standard in mass market models. We continue to work closely with a broad range of customers to support current demand and develop products that will enable the performance of emerging technologies. We are seeing substantial opportunities in areas that include the next generation of ADAS radar as well as advanced performance EV and HEV power systems.

Advanced Connectivity

In advanced connectivity applications, we have developed new platform products that have received an enthusiastic response from our customers. These products are aimed at significantly enhancing the performance of the highly demanding 5G infrastructure in both base stations and massive MIMO antenna systems.

Bruce Hoechner, CEO, on Rogers’ Business Units

Advanced Connectivity Solutions (ACS) delivered third quarter net sales of $72 million, which were relatively flat compared to the third quarter of 2017 and a decrease of 6% compared to the second quarter of 2018. Lower-than-expected revenues were due to weaker demand for applications in 4G LTE and ADAS. Softness in wireless infrastructure was associated with sluggish demand for 4G LTE applications in anticipation of the transition to 5G. We’ve seen a number of positive indicators regarding the 5G build-out. According to industry sources, leading smartphone manufacturers are now set to roll out 5G-enabled models in the first half of 2019. In addition, there have been successful service provider field test results in both China and the US. Further, industry experts are predicting 2019 5G base station installations of roughly 100,000 to 200,000 units. Rogers continues to achieve substantial design wins with significantly higher content than 4G LTE from all major telecom equipment OEMs. We are preparing for this major growth opportunity through ongoing capacity expansion projects, including our recent plant and equipment acquisition in Chandler, Arizona.

In Q3, Elastomeric Material Solutions (EMS) delivered all-time record net sales of $96 million. Organic sales revenues increased 8% over Q3 2017. Including contributions from the Griswold business, revenues increased 17% over Q3 2017 and 21% sequentially. Net sales were driven by strong demand in automotive applications, particularly EV/HEV battery pads and battery pack sealing systems, in addition to seasonal strength in portable electronics. Looking ahead, we expect to see the broad-based growth for EMS applications to continue, with particular strength in EV/HEV applications.

In Q3, Power Electronics Solutions (PES) achieved net sales of $55 million, an increase of 19% over Q3 2017 and a 3% increase over the second quarter of 2018. We saw particular strength in EV/HEV applications, where we were up over 50% year-over-year and 20% sequentially. Part of this strong EV/HEV growth was driven by record demand for our new-generation silicon nitride materials for wide bandgap semiconductor packaging. We also saw a strong demand for ROLINX power interconnects in electric vehicle applications. Looking ahead, we anticipate continued robust growth in demand for our EV/HEV applications.

Q3 2018 Earnings Call Transcript

Q3 2018 Financial Press Release

Q3 2018 Earnings Call Slides

 

Cultivating a Global Team

On September 25, 2018, in Careers/Human Resources, Corporate, by mdippel

Currently, Rogers Corporation has sixteen manufacturing locations and seven additional global sales offices spanning nine countries around the world. These locations boast a workforce of more than 3,400 employees. While these numbers are notable, they only tell part of the story.

Rogers is a truly global company, where we get to interact regularly with colleagues across the world.

“Working with colleagues in different regions of the world often brings different perspectives,” says Mike Brodeur, Senior Web Developer. “These different ideas, when brought together, quite often make our final solution more effective and well thought out.”

Mike’s observation is a sentiment shared throughout the company. “My role has me interacting across multiple continents on a daily basis,” says Sheryl Long, Senior Global Marketing Communications Manager. “I enjoy seeing so many people from different parts of the world and different cultures working together towards mutual goals.”

Our global manufacturing footprint means we can be responsive to customers in each region we serve. According to Steve Ubelhoer, North America Sales Director:

Local manufacturing increases options for customers. It means local production in the same time zone and often the same language for quicker answers, less transit time for materials when demand spikes, fewer worries about tariffs, taxes and customs and duplicate production capabilities for disaster recovery plans. In a world where customers are looking for suppliers to reduce their concerns, this is often a significant advantage for Rogers that our competitors cannot offer.

Not only does Rogers have a wide range of facility locations, but we also have career opportunities across numerous disciplines. From manufacturing and production to IT and finance, it takes a diverse workforce to keep Rogers moving forward. If this exciting and bustling global organization is something that you would enjoy being a part of, check out our current career opportunities.

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This entry first appeared on Rogers Corporation’s internal “Leadership Blog.” Our CEO, Bruce Hoechner, and his senior leadership team write weekly posts for Rogers’ intranet, generating many likes and comments from colleagues around the globe.

 This blog was written by Gustavo Araujo, Rogers’ Vice President of Global Supply Chain, and has been edited for external publication.

I believe that one of the most valuable programs we have at Rogers is the Thank You Awards. What I like the most about the program is that it offers a way for our employees to demonstrate their gratitude to one another for efforts that go above and beyond their day-to-day activities. It is fascinating to see the great things our employees are doing every day and, even better, seeing that their colleagues are paying attention and thanking them for their dedication. Every day I read two or three Thank You Award stories and I really enjoy them.

Express Your Gratitude- VP of Supply Chain Gustavo Araujo

This is what prompted me to write this week’s blog. The importance of gratitude not only in our workplace but in our homes, in schools, in stores, in everyday situations.

Why should anyone thank you for just doing your job? And why should you ever thank your coworkers for doing what they’re paid to do?

Since we spend most of our time at work, it’s a perfect place to practice gratitude! Human nature makes it easier to be grateful when we have good days. But I think we should practice being grateful even if we are having an “off” day. It can actually lift you to find something to be grateful for in the midst of difficulty.

I’d like to share an article that appeared in Forbes magazine written by Amy Morin, “Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude that will Motivate You to Give Thanks Year-Round.”

  1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion, the magazine of the American Psychiatric Association. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. So whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or send a thank-you note to that colleague who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.
  1. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.
  1. Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
  1. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner, even when others behave less kindly, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
  1. Grateful people sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
  1. Gratitude improves self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs—a major factor in reduced self-esteem—grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
  1. Gratitude increases mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience.

So whether it’s through a Thank You Award or simply telling someone you appreciate them, let’s give gratitude a chance. Practice it and enjoy it.